Aussies love their pets – and money seems to be no object when it comes to their health. New research reveals 54 per cent of pet owners have, or would consider, pet insurance. Even without insurance, 50 per cent would spend more than $1000 on treatment and recovery if their pet had an accident or was diagnosed with a serious illness, and 34 per cent would spend more than $2000.

The survey of an independent, nationally representative panel of 1000 Australian pet owners[1] was commissioned by leading insurance comparison service to gauge how much Aussies are willing to spend on their pet’s health.

Industry data shows that 55 per cent of Aussies (equivalent to 13 million people) have some form of private health insurance[2]. The research by revealed that 54 per cent of Aussies have, or would, consider insuring their pet.

Younger pet owners are more likely to take up pet insurance than any other generation. Nearly three quarters (70 per cent) of 18 to 34-year-olds do, or would consider, insuring their pet. This compares to 56 per cent of 35 to 44-year-olds, 50 per cent of 45 to 54-year-olds, and 40 per cent of over-55s.

The survey further revealed that 12 per cent of pet owners would spend more than a whopping $10,000 on medical costs if their precious pet fell ill. Interestingly, twice as many women as men would spend these heady sums on their cat or dog (16 per cent and 8 per cent respectively).

It seems, the younger we are, the more likely we consider money no object when it comes to our pets’ medical bills. Over a fifth (21 per cent) of 18 to 24-year-olds, 14 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds, and just 4 per cent of over-65s would spend more than $10,000 on medical costs.

Respondents were asked how much they currently spend on medical costs, grooming, food, products and accessories for their pet. Fifty-eight per cent admitted to spending over $50 a month for these services. For 82 per cent of respondents, most of these costs are food-related. spokesperson Abigail Koch said: “While many Australians may be dropping their health cover, the number of Aussies insuring their pet’s health is increasing. Since 2013, the number of households with pet insurance for their dog has increased from 18 per cent to 26 per cent and the number of households with pet insurance for their cat also increased from 12 per cent to 18 per cent[3].

“Aussies love and see their pets as family members, and while they can be costly, many of us would do whatever we could to afford treatment if they were to fall ill or become injured. With pet insurance, Aussies could spend as little as $20 a month[4], depending on their level of cover, and save up to 80 per cent on expensive vet bills. Comparison websites, such as, make it easy for pet owners to compare pet insurance policies to find a level of cover best suited to their pet’s age and breed.” reveals the yearly essential costs for dogs and cats, according to Animal Medicines Australia[5]:

Essential costs for your pet
Expense Average annual cost for dog ($) Average annual cost for cat ($)
Food $622 $576
Veterinary services $397 $273
Pet healthcare products $248 $159
Products or accessories $134 $98
Clipping/grooming $129 $45
Boarding/minding $86 $80
Pet insurance $93 $59
Competitions/memberships $39 $37
Training/behaviour/therapy $49 $37
Transport $44 $33
Alternative healthcare treatments $39 $37
Walking $42
Other $52 $47
Total per household $1,975 $1,480
Total per animal $1,475 $1,029



For interviews and more information, please contact:

Neneh McGuire | +61 2 9279 3330 | +61 404 433 263| e: 

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[1] Pureprofile survey of 1,006 Australian adult pet owners

[2] APRA Private Health Insurance Quarterly Statistics June 2017:

[3] Animal Medicines Australia: Pet Ownership in Australia, 2016:

[4] Monthly averages sourced from ASIC (2016, December 13th). Pet insurance.

[5] Animal Medicines Australia: Pet Ownership in Australia, 2016:


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